Stroud Gain Revenge in Tight Game
By joshua stratton
All of the squad deserve plaudits
Clevedon had comprehensively dismantled the Stroud defence some ten weeks ago and Stroud were clearly out to show that this was just a blip writes Sean Moore.
In front of a large crowd of former players at their annual reunion, Stroud delivered a gritty performance and, deservedly, just won. Clevedon are a big, no nonsense outfit but Stroud matched them in all aspects. The forwards put in a massive shift, gaining parity at the set pieces and showing more penetration in the loose and in phase play. Out wide, the threes were evenly matched and Stroud hampered themselves at times by getting isolated and not making use of their speedy wingers. It is hard to pass the ball when it is tucked under one arm!
Stroud began at a blistering pace and Kurtis Herbert seemed certain to score but was foiled by a last ditch tackle with winger Sykes free outside him. Stroud continued to attack but a loose pass led to an interception and the Clevedon winger ran in from 80 metres to score under the posts, 0-7.
Stroud regrouped and an excellent converted try by Pete Sykes levelled the scores, 7-7. This followed a long counter attack which saw Gordon’s pass liberating Hester and Leworthy in the build up to the try. Shortly afterwards, following a catch and drive and several phases, Regan Herbert bullocked his way over the line and his brother, Kurtis, converted, 14-7.
The second half was a tense affair and Stroud showed high levels of discipline and determination. Kurtis Herbert managed a further penalty goal to bring the score to 17-10 and, once again, the last ten minutes or so were nail biting. Try as they might, Clevedon couldn’t get over the Stroud line and had to content with a penalty goal, 17-13.
All of the squad deserve plaudits with second row Ben Stephens having a cracking all round game, eagerly committing himself to tackles and taking high balls, whilst Sam Davis stopped many Clevedon attacks at source with his deadly tackling.